Veröffentlicht am 21. May 2021
Colocation – maximum security for your servers
Colocation, or server housing, refers to the outsourcing of one’s own IT hardware to an independent data center. A customer books the required number of server cabinets and pays a monthly rent. In contrast to hosting, the hardware comes from the customer and not from the data center or service provider.
Compared to hosting on a customer’s own premises, colocation offers two key advantages:
Data centers have high-performance fiber-optic connections from various carriers and an uninterruptible power supply. The redundant Internet and power lines achieve a high level of fail-safety. The second advantage is reflected in the cost savings for the customer. Proper connection of the hardware on the customer’s own premises initially requires some conversion or renovation work, such as the installation of a special air-conditioning system to ensure constant temperatures. On top of that, there are ongoing costs for operation, maintenance, and servicing. And yet the server room does not meet the security requirements of a data center. In a data center, these total costs are apportioned to all users. Consequently, the company’s own share is low.
When operating a server room within one’s own four walls, there are a number of obligations and legal principles to be observed. According to the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI for short), the basic IT protection in INF.2 Section 1, Chapter 1.1, Point 2 since February 2020 states:
“If an IT-using institution has only one central IT operating area, this, together with the necessary support areas, must always be treated as a data center in accordance with the protection requirement.”
Furthermore, the BSI’s IT-Grundschutz Compendium states under point G 0.29 on the violation of laws and regulations:
“If an institution’s information, business processes and IT systems are inadequately secured (for example, by inadequate security management), this can lead to violations of legal provisions relating to information processing or of existing contracts with business partners. […] The management of a company is obligated to exercise appropriate care in all business processes.”
When operating a server landscape in one’s own company, there are thus many rules and regulations to be observed. If security measures are not observed, the management is liable for organizational negligence.
For whom colocation is interesting
Basically, colocation is suitable for companies of any size and industry if full control is to be maintained and the use of modern cloud technologies is not an alternative. Or when operating an in-house IT operations area is not an option due to high costs and scarce human resources. Furthermore, colocation is particularly recommended if the equipment must meet individual requirements, for example in terms of highly sensitive data or special applications. The company’s own compliance guidelines often play a role in the decision.
Create geo-redundancy with colocation
weSystems uses data centers at defined locations that have true geo-redundancy according to the BSI standard with a distance between them of at least 200km. This corresponds to the recommendation of the BSI according to the paper “Criteria for the site selection of data centers” in version 2.0 and enables the fail-safe operation of the corresponding servers and IT infrastructure. With appropriate network concepts and BGP-capable routing, true geo-redundancy can also be created for colocation IT.
Criteria for selecting a data center and provider
Companies should always pay attention to the availability and performance of the data center. Furthermore, additional security and fire protection fire protection measures to ensure that the data is protected against unauthorized access. When choosing a colocation data center, the so-called “tier standard” offers a good and generally valid classification. In addition, certifications serve as a good quality indicator. For example, if the provider can show the corresponding ISO 27001 certificate, customers know that their equipment and data are in safe hands. Regarding the location, it is essential to consider other parameters in addition to the pure costs for rack, electricity, and the physical proximity to the company’s own location. Usually, colocation providers can offer racks including Internet access as ready-made packages. But when it comes to turning your wishes into a concept that suits your company and adapts to your individual requirements, you need a partner who sees eye-to-eye with you. Both the right connection to the Internet and flexible networking with other data center locations with sufficient bandwidth are important factors in medium- and long-term expansion planning for your own IT. In addition, other topics such as backup and disaster recovery play a decisive role for companies. If, contrary to hope, data should be stolen or accidentally deleted, it is advantageous to keep the physical paths between computing and the first stage of backup to a minimum. This avoids unnecessarily high latencies. When setting up a second, geo-redundant site, fiber optic networking between the data centers is of central importance.
FlexCompute Colocation is more than just metal and electricity
“Once the hardware has been set up in the data center, we don’t have to do it again. Then everything will be up and running” is something we hear repeatedly. But the opposite is often the case. Due to personnel bottlenecks or involvement in projects, it is often simply not possible to make the trip to the data center to press a button, check a plug connection or replace a hard disk. For these and many other cases we offer our support – because our trained and highly motivated engineers are already on site at the data center. weSystems supports you from hour 0. This is the time of taking stock and creating the design of the future infrastructure. Once all doubts have been cleared, we begin early planning of the hardware move together, starting with determining the order in which systems need to be powered down at the old site and powered up again at the new data center. With our expertise, we can provide valuable tips and keep downtimes to a minimum. We also do not leave you on your own when it comes to setting up the switches, load balancers, firewalls, and servers, and provide support where required.
Managed Colo Remote Hands for Onsite Support
Managed Hardware Hardware replacement based on your maintenance contracts
Managed OS Installation and operation up to top OS including patch plan
Managed Security Extended protection of the server landscape with e.g. DDoS protection and firewalls
Managed Internet We manage the carrier and its lines for you
Managed BGP We take care of the BGP-capable IP addresses and support you from setting up or implementing the routing concept to swapping between data centers
Monitoring Permanent monitoring of your servers and systems
Hybrid Solutions Cloud computing and backup in close proximity to your colocation has advantages in terms of processing speed
Your servers are safer in no place in the world than in a certified data center. With the “Colocation” service, you rent rack space, power, climate and security. And, if you wish, additional services that make your life easier. High fail-safety, geo-redundancies, best fiber optic networking as well as cost savings are the drivers for many companies to go the way together with a provider to build up their own IT securely and reliably for the future. It is not uncommon for the original colocation planning to form the basis of a hybrid infrastructure, i.e. colocation in combination with the cloud. This way, you still retain full control over your own hardware, but are much more flexible for certain applications and environments due to the excellent scalability.
Our colleagues will be happy to assist you and work with you to develop your individual colocation concept and migration plan.
In this second blog, we will now go into a bit more technical depth and show which technologies we used to meet the requirements.
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